Last week was the prayer week at my church, but I had no part in it. I knew about it but wasn’t involved, mainly for reasons of work and other duties. These reasons are not at all acceptable because in reality, I could have set aside time to pray for the Church and its activities. One does not have to be in the space that the church made available to pray in order to partake in the prayer week.
So why was I absent in such a pleasing activity?
The reason why was that I didn’t want to. Not because I didn’t care, actually when you think of it, perhaps it is because I didn’t care enough. I am merely doing a heart surgery here, searching the faults in my own soul. I have at other times prayed for the Church with zeal and passion, but I have noticed that I have forsaken the sweet hour of prayer.
I have forsaken that sweet hour of prayer, which calls me from a world of care, to come to my Father’s throne, to make all of my petitions known to him, as well as my delights. I have forgotten, that many times it was the sweet hour of prayer that lifted my burdens and filled me with the joy of Christ. I have disremembered that the sweet hour of prayer is the upward glancing of my sighs to God, and that God is near when everyone is so far away.
But, the Spirit has made me remember this sweet hour of prayer, and has filled my soul with this sincere desire once again, to go to that place where I can cast on Jesus my every care. It is in that place where my soul can find relief.
My friends, I dare to think that many of you have forsaken this sweet hour of prayer. I fear that many of you have no care about it. The devil has done a good thing in making you pass by prayer for other activities. My friends, I plead with you to come back to this sweet hour of prayer. Whether you do it alone or in a group, I beg you to pray.
One writer has written, that prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice, returning from his ways, while angels in their songs rejoice, and cry, ‘Behold, he prays!’ Can the angels say that of you? Do you find no delight in prayer? Do you find no sweetness in it. Do you not meet God while you pray? Have you not poured your heart out to him?
God wants you to pray, all the angels want you to pray. So what is stopping you from praying? My friend, the only answer one can give in the final analysis is this; it is yourself that stops you from praying.
If you have never embark on the sweet hour of prayer I beseech you to enter it now, or at least have in your soul constantly the song of prayer. For I fear, that after many enter the gates of gold, that the one regret which many shall carry, or bring many sorrows to their hearts is this, namely, they would wish that they prayed more because of the things that would have happened.
Pray my friends while you still can, because there is a day when we shall bid prayer farewell. There is a day when I shall bid the sweet hour of prayer goodbye.